Question: What can I offer other wedding professionals that will make them want to partner with me?
“I’ve been reading a lot of your stuff this week and have already implemented your price shopper template, created a business FB page and began comments and liking other vendors and venues, and re-thinking some things about my website.
“Anyway, my question: I’m particularly intrigued about the Favor Principle, particularly with other wedding vendors, planners, venue owners, etc.
“I would happy to help out other people, but I honestly don’t know what I could offer them.
“As a wedding pianist, I don’t really have a tangible item to give them. I would be happy to give referrals, but I NEVER have people ask me to refer another type of vendor, and I’m not well-known enough myself to feel like me saying, ‘I’ll refer you!’ would mean much.
“Anything that can get me thinking of some creative ideas in this area? Thanks!”
*NOTE: The Favor aka Reciprocity Principle is a principle of psychology that works like this: when we do something nice for someone, they feel pressure to do something nice for us in return. This can be used powerfully in networking and marketing relationships.
This is a really good question, Jennifer! When we’re just starting out, it’s hard to imagine what you might have to offer, especially when you don’t have referrals to send.
Even without knowing you personally, I’m sure you have something of value to share with the other wedding professionals you meet. Figuring out what that might be is a two step process.
Step 1 – Strike up a conversation with the professional and ask what his/her biggest challenge or opportunity is right now.
You can’t offer valuable help to someone unless you know what their needs are. Once you understand that, you can start thinking about any resources you might have to help them.
In addition to helping you identify what you can do for the professional, it also demonstrates your interest, indicates that you care, and builds the relationship. Bonus!
Step 2 – Identify the resources you have that might help solve this person’s problem or grow their opportunity.
Have you ever written down your assets and resources? This is a fantastic exercise because you’ll realize just how much you have to offer and how many powerful resources you have to draw from.
Don’t forget to include all the intangibles, such as your education, information and connections, as well as your physical assets and skills.
Here are some examples:
- Professional resources – a great web programmer, designer, accountant
- Information resources – a website, article or reference document
- People and connections – Can you introduce them to someone who might be an asset?
- Your own skills and talents – If you’re good with social media, you might help them set up a Facebook account. Or if you like to write and they have a challenge with blogging, you might write a blog post for them.
Once you create the habit of thinking, “How can I help this person?” you’ll find lots of things you can give.
This is also a super powerful strategy for building relationships with your clients as well. When you become a valuable resource it proves your expertise and communicates the value of your price effortlessly.
What’s your favorite networking strategy?